Popularly called as “The King of Hollywood”, Clark Gable is one of the most celebrated American actors in the history of cinema. He was born on February 1, 1901, in Cadiz, Ohio. His real name is
William Clark Gable; William derived from his father’s name, Willian Henry ‘Will’ Gable. Clark’s endeavor to carve a career in the world of cinema did not directly lead him to success. His career began as a stage actor after which he appeared in many silent films as an extra till 1926 and finally landed supporting roles in a few films for the leading studio of its time, MGM, in 1931. The consequent year, Gable triumphantly played his first leading role in a Hollywood film and continued to do so successfully for the next three decades, in more than 60 motion pictures.Gable’s expansive career is impossible to surmise. He was critically acclaimed for his roles in various movies. Critically, Gable’s most outstanding and well-known role is that of Rhett Butler in the most renowned and epic movie, Gone with the Wind (1939). MGM often paired Gable with some of the most popular actresses of the time to commercially boost the studio’s success. He was often seen with his favorite actress Joan Crawford, beginning with Dance, Fools, Dance (1931). He was seen opposite Myrna Loy seven times, one of them being in the famous production, Wife vs. Secretary (1936). He was also seen paired with Jean Harlow often, with their best movies together being Red Dust (1932) and Saratoga (1937). To end his acting legacy with grandeur, Gable’s final film, The Misfits (1961), saw him acting opposite to
Marilyn Monroe, the film also being the last for Monroe’s on-screen appearance.
Even though, Gable won an Academy Award for The Best Actor for his role in It Happened One Night (1934), he wasn’t the first choice for the role itself.
Claudette Colbert, the female protagonist of the movie also won the Academy Award for Best Actress, while the movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Thus, Gable became one of the most celebrated stars of MGM. Later, Gable was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his roles, Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and the very famous, Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939). Even today, Gable is known for being one of the most consistent box-office performers in history. He appeared outstandingly sixteen times on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll. He was also named the seventh greatest male star of classic American Cinema by the American Film Institute. Gable married Kay Williams in 1955. They had a son named John Clark Gable on March 20, 1961, though, by that time, Gable had died four months earlier to his son’s birth.Gable took his last breath in Los Angeles, California on November 16, 1960. The reason behind his death was an arterial blood clot which consequently formed ten days after a severe heart attack. Gable was interred in The Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.